York & North Yorkshire

York anti-fracking rally attracts 'more than 1,000'

Anti-fracking rally in York
Image caption Campaigners marched from Clifford's Tower to York Minister where speeches were held

More than 1,000 people from across Yorkshire united to take part in an anti-fracking rally, organisers claim.

People gathered for the protest in York, where they marched from Clifford's Tower to the city's minster.

The rally came in the wake of approval by North Yorkshire County Council to allow Third Energy to extract shale gas in Kirby Misperton, Ryedale.

It is the first time a fracking operation in England has been approved since a ban was lifted in 2012.

The company has said it will undertake this operation safely and without impacting on the local environment.

Earthquake fear

But Graham Martin, from Frack Free York, who helped organise the rally, said it was an opportunity for people to oppose "this unsafe, unnecessary and unwanted industry".

Fracking is the process of drilling down into the earth before a high-pressure water mixture is directed at rock to release the gas inside.

Opponents say it can cause water contamination, earthquakes and noise and traffic pollution.

New licences for the technique, seen by the government as crucial for future energy needs, had been stalled since 2011 after tests on the Fylde coast, in Lancashire, were found to have been the probable cause of minor earthquakes in the area.

Since then, two high-profile applications to frack in Lancashire have been rejected by councillors and are now the subject of appeals.

Third Energy wants to frack for shale gas using an existing two-mile deep well - called KM8 - drilled in 2013, close to the North York Moors National Park.

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